It’s time for another one of my new “reviewing Marilyn Monroes movies” article. Following my first one, Gentlemen prefer blondes or that Marilyn Monroe movie of the upcoming series of reviews. This time, I choose another one of the popular ones many of you were suggesting. I took a look at HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE.
It’s an old old movie from 1953 and it’s directed by Jean Negulesco. The specialty of this movie, in particular, is that it was the first film ever to be filmed in the new CinemaScope wide-screen process. This fact alone explains many parts of the movie I would say were unnecessary to the plot and were good only for its cinematic value.
For example the 6 minutes long intro with nothing but opera playing. Unbearably long screentime for just a plane flying. Unnecessary zooms over the skyline of New York.
I understand that back then the whole experience of this movie must have been epic. Therefore, I believe it would still be a very popular movie despite the cast.
But the cast made it extra special.
What made the movie legendary is the ladies: Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall. They play 3 golddiggers on a hunt for a millionaire husband in the grand city of New York. Spoilers ahead.
I was only able to find Czech dubbing and I watched it on a train back home to Slovakia, so my whole experience could have been better with better conditions. Nevertheless, I endured the ridiculous dubbing and enjoyed the hour and a half of the movie.
Even though Marilyn Monroe is playing one part of the main trio in How to marry a millionaire, the focus was all on her during the advertising.
This time again she’s playing blond golddigger that’s making herself smaller for the attention of men. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence, or that’s just Marilyn’s role in Hollywood.
How to marry a millionaire is a comedy and the key comedy factor were witty comebacks and Marylin Monroes character Paula’s poor sight. Paula is unwilling to wear glasses in the presence of men, trying not to repulse them with the ugliness of her glasses. The funny result is her bumping into stuff and making ridiculous things that could be fixed if she just put on her freaking glasses.
Sound shallow I know. But to be fair she’s just trying to subject to social norms claiming girls with glasses are an impersonation of ugly. Can you blame her?
Her only goal is to marry rich.
She gets her redemption arc when she meets a guy on a plane she eventually marries. He’s a runaway from IRS and actually owns the apartment the girls are living in. He’s just as blind as her and he reassures her of her mystic beauty with the glasses on. She found her familiar even though he’s not a millionaire.
Betty Grable is portraying Loco Dempsey. Another blondie with a much goofier character than Marilyn even though they are quite similar in the looks. Loco is naive and childlike and she really really likes money. But she has her standards and doesn’t go for a married man no matter how rich they are. Funnily enough, she falls in love with a poor guy and her love for money is forgotten with a heavy heart.
The heart wants what it wants.
Lauren Bacall as Schatze Page is the mastermind behind the whole “let’s move to New York to a fancy apartment and get ourselves a rich husband’s” plan. She went through an unsuccessful marriage with no many and she is probably the most determined to get some millionaire. Even willing to marry a 30 years older guy for his money. Luckily she backs down last minute when she sees her friends happiness, even without rich husbands.
Schatze caught the eye of Tom Brookman, an actual millionaire. He doesn’t look the part so Schatze pushes him away despite her feelings for him. She thinks he is just another guy from a gas station. Her determination to get money is unbelievable. In the end, she gives up on her feelings for a guy over her feelings for money and marries Brookman, who still keeps his wealth a secret from his new wife.
In the end, all of the couples drink to their new life, and Brookman brings up a big ass stash of money. Our beautiful trio faints at the sight. The end.
I think I liked the movie just as much as the Gentlemen prefer blondes or that Marilyn Monroe movie. How to marry a millionaire had less screentime for Marilyn and she was not as memorable as in the first one.
Another one of her dumb blondie characters but she’s really good at that.